I refer to the article “As it happens: National Day Rally 2017” (Channel NewsAsia, Aug 20).

It states that “Speaking in Malay, PM Lee said he’s glad that more Malay children are now attending pre-school.

The Government is raising the quality of pre-schools and keeping them affordable, he said, adding that it is creating more pre-school places, including infant care and nursery classes. pre-school teachers will also get better training and careers.

This is so that children from all economic backgrounds will have an equal chance to compete and excel, and eventually contribute to society, he said.’

I agree with the remarks as

More Malay families living in rental flats

sccording to the article “More Malay families living in rental flats” (Straits Times, May 11, 2016) – “The proportion of Malay families living in one and two-room rented flats has doubled in the last decade, government figures show.

Last year, there were 14,600 households headed by a Malay living in such flats.

This was 10.9 per cent of all Malay-headed households, up from 4.9 per cent – or 5,779 households – in 2005, according to the latest General Household Survey released in March.

The HDB has ramped up the rental flat supply from 42,000 units in 2007 to 53,500, with an aim to boost this to 60,000 by next year.”

23% of the increase in rental flats went to non-Malay families?

Does this mean that about 77 per cent or about 8,821 (14,600 – 5,779) of the increased supply of 11,500 (53,500 – 42,000) rental flats, went to Malay families?

Please note that the above is an estimate as the Malay households data is from 2005 whereas the HDB supply data is from 2007.

As to “MOH to offer S$5 health check-ups for those above 40 years of age

Starting from September, the Ministry of Health will offer health check-ups for S$5, for those who are above the age of 40, said Mr Lee, adding that the full cost of the test is more than S$100″ – I agree with the remarks, as the Government should spend more on healthcare, particularly on diabetes education, detection and treatment, as I understand that from a cashflow perspective – the Government  may still not be spending a single cent on healthcare, as total annual Medisave contributions plus the annual interest on total Medisave accounts’ balances may exceed total annual government spending on healthcare and withdrawals for medical expenses and insurance premiums.

With regard to “Singapore has the right conditions to become a Smart Nation, PM Lee says

Singapore’s Internet coverage is wide, with fast connection speeds; and the education system’s focus on mathematics, engineering and technical studies has helped nurture many “techies”, a number of whom were overseas” – whilst I agree with the remarks – I would like to suggest that we relook the apparent increasing replacement of Singaporean IT PMETs by non-Singaporean workers.

After all, what’s the point of focusing on a smart nation – when in the two years from 2015 to 2016 – it is estimated that almost none of the 11,400 jobs growth (37,300  foreigners’ jobs growth) went to locals – actually went to Singapore born true-blue Singaporeans (61,005 new PRs and 42,917 new citizens granted in the same two-year period).


Leong Sze Hian
A.S.S. Contributor

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